29 July 1951
On 29 July 1951 the African National Congress (ANC) called a meeting in Johannesburg. Executives from the South African Indian Congress (SAIC), the African People Organisation (APO) and the Franchise Action Committee were invited to chart a way forward for the Defiance Campaign against unjust laws. At this meeting it was decided that the second phase of the resistance campaign would commence in 1952 after an ultimatum was addressed to the Government to repeal all discriminating Legislation before or on 29 February 1952. If this did not take place a mass contravention of such Legislation would be launched in all sections of the country. At the meeting it was decided that the date upon which the campaign would be set to launch was the 6 April 1952, so that it could coincide with the beginning of the Van Riebeeck festival. The Campaign was in fact launched on 26 June 1952 by the ANC and South African Indian Congress. More than 8,500 volunteers or 'defiers' were imprisoned for peacefully refusing to obey apartheid laws. The campaign, which carried on into 1953, attracted thousands into political activity. Sources: South African History Online timelines. 1950s. Website: sahistory.org.za The defiance campaign. Website: anc.org.za.